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Make a Music Supervisor Happy: Song Titles

This part of the submission tips series “Make a Music Supervisor Happy” is about choosing the right song titles or file names to fit your submission. You can find a list of more helpful tips at the bottom of this post.

Don’t name brands in song titles or file names – past or present
You may have already pitched your intended submission to another brand many years ago, and to make it easier you named the file “song-for-brand.mp3”, but unfortunately the song was not picked up. This does not mean that the chances for it to be licensed again are over, but it does mean that you should title the music differently and no longer reference the original brand. By referencing another brand in your title, you will be making your chances to be licensed less likely. A brand does not want to license a song that was rejected by another brand, and they also don’t want to be using music that may have been considered by a competitor.
In a similar situation, you might have an idea of who the brand is through the brief, have a suggested idea for a brand that it could be, or we may have told you the brand name based on a confidential non-disclosure agreement. Either way, still don’t name the brand in the title. If it turns out to be the correct brand, it will look suspicious if you somehow know confidential information and it will look unprofessional if you have broken the non-disclosure agreement. On a similar note to the first section, guessing the wrong brand might look as though you already pitched this song somewhere else and it was rejected.
Don’t name it after keywords in the brief
The brief might say “emotional, dreamy song needed” but that doesn’t mean your song title or file name should also be “emotional-dreamy-song.mp3”. This may seem like the best way to describe your song, but it’s the same thinking as a lot of other people, and the title will be lost amongst a sea of similar descriptive titles. The best chance to get your music licensed is to stand out from the crowd – give your music a unique title, not a description from a brief.
Don’t reference other music or artists
While the reference might perfectly describe the style of music that you have composed, unwittingly to you, it could cause potential copyright issues. Naming a song “edgy-daft-punk-style.mp3” for example, may appear as though you have used parts of a Daft Punk song and violated copyright laws. The risk, on the client’s side, is that you may have violated others rights in your song and if they use your song, they may end up being sued. An outcome that would not be worth licensing your song, however good it is. Therefore, it’s best to avoid references, so that the uniqueness of your music shines through.
Do use a unique title
To sum up how to choose the best song title and file name: make it one that stands out from the crowd and is unique to your music. Don’t use keywords from briefs, music references to other artists or reference brands. And most important of all, make your song title personal and unique. After all, your music deserves a title, not just a file name.
Read more tips here:
Pitching with versatility
“Preview” tracks
Masterful mastering
Not using music samples
The question of cover versions
Timing and availability
Choosing relevant tracks
Choosing suitable lyrics and music
Stand out to potential clients

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